Do you deseed blackberries?

jennieboyer(8)June 26, 2013

Hi -

I recently got a great deal on 30 lbs of blackberries and want to make some jam. I like my jam a little chunky.

Wondering if most of you deseed your blackberries and, if so, what do you use? I don't currently have anything, so would need to buy. Again, I like my jam chunky, so need to consider that for whatever I might buy.

I'm also open to leaving the seeds in - any compelling reason not to?



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Lots of homemade jam still has the seeds in it. If you don't have a problem with seeds, leave them in it.

I don't have the answer on how to deseed, but will be watching for others' suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:57AM
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For jam leave the seeds in, for jelly they'll be strained out in the jelly making process. Bramble jelly is very tasty.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:51PM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

How on earth would you deseed blackberries? (Aside from straining the jam mixture, which would give you jelly, not jam?)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Hi Kriswrite - that's exactly what I was thinking, but then I ran across all of these recipes that called for deseeding them. I got very confused! Good to know I don't need to!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:44PM
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I've seen seedless blackberry jam, seems like it would be alot of work. Maybe squeezing the jelly bag/cheesecloth would allow more pulp to go thru. I'll be trying that with wild black raspberries.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Try putting most of the berries through a fine sieve, then just throwing in some whole berries for texture. You'll still get the pulp from the sieve, so will be a jam rather than a jelly of preserve.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:25AM
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I pass lightly crushed berries through the finest disc on my food mill. Pulp gets through; it's quite a bit thicker than juice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Several food mills offer a berry screen. I've never used one - I use my Kitchenaid fruit strainer and as far as I know, they don't offer a berry screen. Wish they did, though. Maybe time to invest in the Victorio or something similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Berry screen

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 1:03AM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

I prefer seedless jams as well, but make small batches and force the pulp through a double fine mesh strainer after a quick spin in a processor to break up the pulp (traditional way of deseeding berries). It would take way too long with 30 lbs of berries though. I am interested in the kitchenaid strainer, but dont' seem to be able to find one. I do have an ancient (came from husband's grandma) squeezo strainer that I hear I can get berry screens for, but it seems to me to be a lot of assembly for the small batches I make. I may try it one of these batches though. I adore it for applesauce.

BrittanyW--what type of food mill do you have? I'm also looking at a foley type that would at least catch most seeds, leaving a few tiny ones wouldn't bug me too much.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 3:17AM
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I have the Winco stainless 2qt (cheapest I could find on Amazon with decent reviews, haha). That was the first time I've used it, so I can't speak to long term quality, but the finest disc took out almost all of the seeds (I did spot a few in the final jam, but not an amount worth worrying about). It came with four plates of different hole sizes and seems sturdy, not flimsy at all. Of course, you're going to want something bigger than 2qt if you plan to process large quantities.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 12:18AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I use a "Kitchenaid" fine mesh strainer. I take about 4 cups of berries, add 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil to soften fruit. Soon the fruit melts, you really don't have to bring to a boil, just heat up. Then I use a pestle to push the pulp threw. You do lose some pulp. If you like chunky, try making blackberry-kiwi jam. I like to experiment, and when I made this, it was a keeper! You can cut the kiwi up and leave hunks of it in the jam. I myself use a mixer to liquefy kiwi. Also good but harder to make is to add pomegranate. It is difficult to remove seeds and such with this fruit. It requires more cooking to soften fruit as fruit resists breaking up. Excellent jam!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:18AM
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How about a steam juicer? It's real easy and no solids. My only question is whether it would affect its ability ti set up properly when pectin is added?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:17PM
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My aunt -- who used to put up tons of blackberry jam form the wild bushes around her place in Washington State, would partially de-seed some batches for the finicky.

She had a small handheld strainer, and when the pulp and sugar were coming to a boil, she'd skim off the top and knock out a lot of the seeds.

Personally, I really like the crunch of the seeds; reminds me I eating something wild. Strained jam, or blackberry jelly seems just too sweet and one-note.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:16PM
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sharon_nc_40(7b NC)

me I like to take the seeds out of my blackberries i run mine through a food mill and it takes all the seeds out ,i dont like seeds ,hubby does but i do all the work so he has to take it the way i make

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 7:21PM
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I use a food mill for many, many food applications and taking the seeds out of berries is an important one. It helps to mash them a bit then thru the mill and the juice and seeds and pulp separated..... then put the seedy part into the jam pan with some water and warmed a bit and thru the mill again. Sometimes, I do add some whole berries to make it chunky, but I have found that if you leave all the seeds in, it is too seedy. The mill is also great for removing seeds and skins from tomatoes, seedy grapes. I don't make a big production out of it... just do the daily pickings ...deseed, measure and freeze until I am ready to make jam.

hope the link works

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:28AM
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I just picked up a Victorio from a friend, traded some excess zucchini (about 2 bushel) for it. I was glad to get rid of the zukes and she was glad to trade the Victorio for them.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 8:02AM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

I did try using my Squeezo Strainer for some raspberries this weekend. Did about 2 1/2 lbs, after cooking slightly with a little bit of water. The first pass through, a lot of the juice and pulp ended up in the 'discard' bowl. So, I dumped it back through, and the second run, it got pretty much all the seeds, leaving pulp and juice. So, it was a successful test, although, still a lot of setup and cleanup for that small of a batch. And my squeezo is a pass down from DH's Grandma, so lots of the parts rust if not washed and dried carefully.

Drew--when I was referring to a 'Kitchenaid' strainer, I was speaking of the type that you use on the front of a Kitchenaid mixer. It requires a meat grinder attachment, then a strainer screen. Sounds like you use a chinois or fine sieve.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:47PM
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mellyofthesouth(9a FL)

I tried using my kitchenaid strainer attachment as I have done in the past to get the seeds out of the wild blackberries that we picked. Unfortunately, after nearly twenty years, the strainer part broke. (I've already had to replace the housing that attaches to the mixer.) So I got out the roma food mill and used the berry screen. I heated and smashed the berries first. I had to put the discards through 3 times until I felt like I had gotten all the pulp. It was worth it. Those wild berries are super seedy.

that is the roma berry screen on the left and kitchenaid screen on the right. The screen itself pulled out of the white plastic part. The kitchenaid usually let a few seeds through but not enough to offend. The berry screen does a good job.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 5:37PM
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You can buy parts for the Kitchenaid. Mine is plastic also, and it's starting to crack. My mother has one that is metal, but I can't get away from her yet.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 5:44PM
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I have a cheap method. I take the heated mashed berries and plop them into a wire kitchen sieve which is hooked over a bowl of course. Don't do too much at one time. Then take a steel ladle and work it around in circles. This gets almost all of the juice and 98% of the seeds out.

I finish with a jelly bag but I always squeeze the bag after it cools because I haven't enough patience. No seeds but a good bit of pulp is the results. Personally I don't need clear jelly.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 3:03PM
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I broke my cracked Kitchenaid juicer/strainer this last week, doing blackberries. Evidently the seeds froze it up and finished off the main part. Lucky I could order just that part, and will be back in business on Tuesday/Wednesday. I'll be looking for backup parts for this reason.

It did a wonderful job.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:12AM
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